Former Minister of State Thakur Puran Singh of Rajouri Thursday died of COVID-19.
In his mid 70s, Thakur joined Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015.
He was earlier affiliated to Congress and was considered a close aide Ghulam Nabi Azad.
His family members said that Singh had gone to Haridwar to attend a religious congregation and returned from there five days ago.
“He was feeling some uncomfortable for the past three days and was taken to a private clinic here in Rajouri but doctor suggested his immediate referral to a government hospital citing symptoms resembling that of coronavirus,” the family members said.
They said that he was taken to a specialised hospital in Jammu on Wednesday evening but was termed seriously ill by doctors after which his family decided to take him to a super specialty hospital in Punjab.
“While his family was taking him to a Punjab hospital on Wednesday night, he died en route,” his family members said.
Officials in district administration Rajouri said that soon after news of the death of the former MoS of dying of coronavirus reached the district, an alert had been sounded.
“The body reached Rajouri in a private ambulance at 11 am on Thursday and was shifted to GMC Associated Hospital Rajouri under Police escort where it was packed as per SOPs,” the officials said.
They said that the body of the former MoS was taken to his native village Kewal in Kotranka tehsil where last rites and cremation was performed as per the SOPs with only limited gathering of participants wearing PPE kits.
“An order in this regard was also issued by the office of District Magistrate Rajouri in which the field authorities were asked to strictly implement the SOPs devised for performing last rites of COVID-19 positive patients,” officials said.